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[Opening of the Kampala Agricultural and Industrial Exhibition, November 9 1908], 1908-11

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3011D/1

Scope and Contents

200 x 110 mm. Showing Sir Henry Hesketh Bell delivering the opening speech from the verandah of the main exhibition building. On either side of Bell stand various officials and the Kings of Uganda, they in turn flanked by European spectators, with a line of Sikh guards on parade along the front of the building. The figure standing in profile on the steps beneath Bell is almost certainly George Wilson, Deputy Commissioner. The preparations for the exhibition were not completed without hitches: 'The next great affair that has occupied us much during the last week was the Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition at Kampala, held in honour of the King's birthday. It came off yesterday and was most successful ... So many contretemps occurred that I feared the exhibition would have been an utter failure. In the first place the parts for the repair of the motor-car did not arrive in time and we only had the motor-van running. Also the fine display of fireworks that I had ordered failed to turn up. Large State Umbrellas which I had proposed to present to the Kings did not arrive in time, and worst of all, a tremendous shower of rain came down just before the opening of the exhibition and did a lot of damage to the decorations.' (Bell 1908, November 10).

In spite of this the exhibition was a success and the products shown were described in an article by E.B. Bronson: 'After a brief address of welcome to the visiting dignitaries and of congratulations upon their progress in education and in organized industry, Governor Bell received in turn the visiting feudatories and their chiefs, and the exhibition was declared open.

Then the dignitaries and visitors dispersed among the exhibits, viewed the samples of most excellent wheat, corn, cassava flour, chillies, peas, beans, peanuts, rice, yams, ghee (clarified butter), potatoes, rubber, beeswax, of vegetables and fruits; saw the production of coffee in all its stages ... were shown cotton in the boll and in the ginning; marvelled at the native cunning of the basket and mat and cloth weavers, the patience and fair handwork of the ironsmiths with none but the crudest of tools; stood in dumb surprise before the long line of round-mallet-wielding barkcloth makers, and saw a small eighteen-inch square of tree bark slowly expand to the proportions of an ample mantle, the finished product smooth and soft of texture, the colour any of many tints from pale amber to Indian red ...' (Bronson 1910).

This photograph, and the following prints relating to the exhibition are most probably by the commercial photographer Alfred Lobo although Bell records that many photographers were at work at the opening: 'Numberless photographers were at work at the Exhibition, and I think that, at one moment, there must have been 20 cameras focussed on the Pavilion while I was making my speech. All the Kings and the Chiefs made a brave show, and you are sure to see some of the pictures in the papers.' (Bell 1908, November 10)


  • Creation: 1908-11


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Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Fair condition, some glue staining at corners.

Related Materials

For more information about the photographer Alfred Lobo see the introduction to Y3045C.


Bronson, E.B. (1910), The black in his native habitat, The Sunday Magazine; January 30.




Lobo, Alfred, fl 1900-1939, photographer

Finding aid date

2003-05-21 15:35:45+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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